What do you do when it all becomes too much, but you can’t stop?
We’re told to keep cheerful, and keep moving, but if you don’t allow yourself to feel your emotions, even the dark ones, they can swallow you whole.
How do you embrace the dark?
I’m calling a dark week.
It’s not well timed. Not at all.
My littlest’s birthday is this week. Thanksgiving is this week. The world is full of cheer at the moment and it’s hard not to feel that I am obligated to be as well.
I am keeping it going. I bought the presents, got the cake, celebrated and snuggled my girl.
I will make the sweet potatoes and the pink stuff and pack us up to go to a friend’s house for the holiday. I am SO GRATEFUL to my friend for seeing us and extending an invitation and giving us a place at her table.
And I will do my best to focus on that while we holiday with her tomorrow.
But for myself, what I know I need right now is just a dark week.
A week when I shuffle off the obligation of gratefulness. A week when I stop piling on the activity and the novacaine and the chocolate to numb myself from actually feeling anything.
This week I will do what needs doing.
But when the doing is done I will spend time wrapped in a blanket. I will spend time with old episodes of West Wing. I will let in the sadness and the missing and even the anger and anxiety and fear about what might continue to come at us.
I will let myself be angry at the deployment… and at the next one that is somehow already looming on the horizon.
I will let myself be sad with my daughter as she cries big, sad, five year old tears over missing Daddy on this day that is her day and that as her Mama I want to make perfect.
I will let myself feel the blackness of the exhaustion I feel at doing this for the 5th time and already considering the 6th.
I will call a dark week. One that I will try not to ooze onto anybody else.
But that I will allow for myself…
Because if I don’t feel my way through it… The blackness will only grow and seep and poison the days to come that I *don’t* want the blackness to creep into.
I am calling a dark week.
And trusting that there will be more light soon.